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use of wiki's in debates.

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use of wiki's in debates.

Postby orber » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:06 am

It has recently come too my attention that FP has no guidelines regarding the use of wiki's which in my opinion needs too be checked.

We all know Wiki's are not favoured as evidence as pretty much anybody with access too the internet can edit a wikipage thus polluting facts and in our case debating material.A wiki may also suffer from bad writing or generally poor separation between actual canon and what the fan writes about the subject.And there are even cases where a wiki page lacks the source regarding the subject.

The above are well known issues when using a wiki, and therefore I am not suprised when people on FP refuse too believe what a wiki says during a debate.

But does it mean that we can completely disregard any wikipage?

As it stands now I basicly have the freedom too threat a wikipage however I want during a FP debate.I can choose too ignore it because I distrust wiki's, it is easy too cherrypick from, I can provide unsourced wikipages, and all of this because there are noo basic guidelines for this.

Now you might say "use your common sence little Orber" but on a site like FP I believe a clear set of rules are needed for the use of wikis in order too prevent people too threat wiki pages the way they see fit.


Their are plenty of wiki's that provide accurate sourced information as I will now provide 2 examples:

http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Skarbrand

The above link provides a direct quote from a codex, which is 1 of the highest form of canon regarding 40K.The wiki also shows the official source which is the 4th edition chaos deamons codex.

In my opinion the above link is legit too be used in a debate as it provides us a direct quote from a offcial codex.The wiki also shows it sources.

http://metroid.wikia.com/wiki/Thermal_Visor

This link starts with a interprentation of a fan regarding the Thermal visor.Despite being completely correct there are plenty of people who do not trust this type of information. the page goes on we are greeted with data from the official Metroidprime manual and official Metroidprime website.We once again see official data backed up with a offical source and if used against me in a debate I would consider this wikipage and its official information as canon and worthy too be used in the debate.

There are plenty of people on FP who would also consider the above links legit and there are people who refuse too accept it.In the event if somebody ignoring it, the debate might come too a halt as the wiki might be the only source of information regarding the subject being discussed.This is very annoying and I would like too prevent such a thing in the future with Wiki guidelines.

But before I proceed I would first like too see more opinions from fellow pilers namely:

Do you consider wiki's legit and if yes then what standards do they have too meet?
Do you consider wiki's legit but in a other way I do?
Do you consider wiki's too be shit no matter how well sourced it is?

Also do note that I am of opinion that a wiki should be used only when there is no other possible evidence too back up your claim always give priority too videos and scans too back up your claims first.
Last edited by orber on Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: use of wiki's in debates.

Postby Matapiojo » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:29 am

I treat wikis the same way I treat game mechanics. They are a good guideline for what item needs further research, but do not consider them to be acceptable evidence in of themselves (sourced or not). This is because the article MAY be written based off a legit source, but it is still written by an individual's interpretation of said source. As we all know, interpretations may indeed be incorrect. All it takes is for one thing to be taken out of context, or one key adjetive left out of a sentence, and the evidence is rendered null and void.

In my book, wikis will NEVER be evidence. That said, I am more that willing to accept them as previous investigations made by a third party, which is exactly what they are.
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Re: use of wiki's in debates.

Postby Jwlynas » Mon Apr 18, 2011 1:07 pm

There's a rather simple way to use wikis. Use them to find the sources, then use the sources as your evidnce. Either by using them, finding scans online or asking others in the debate if they have it.
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Re: use of wiki's in debates.

Postby Fisherking » Mon Apr 18, 2011 11:26 pm

Matapiojo wrote:This is because the article MAY be written based off a legit source, but it is still written by an individual's interpretation of said source. As we all know, interpretations may indeed be incorrect. All it takes is for one thing to be taken out of context, or one key adjetive left out of a sentence, and the evidence is rendered null and void.



Matapiojo said it best. Even though the wiki might be sourced, the person writing the wiki could have interpreted the source in his own way that differs from the original source. So for me using wiki's isn't a viable way to source a claim in the slightest.
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Re: use of wiki's in debates.

Postby Cpt Olimar » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:10 am

In a similar vein though, any direct sources listed in the wiki are pretty safe bets for canon.
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Re: use of wiki's in debates.

Postby orber » Tue Apr 19, 2011 5:30 am

Now with these replys let me proceed.

First too prevent some confusion I will explain what I mean with "backing up" a claim as this term has some differnt meaning on different sites.Some people use this word too say a claim has been proven, the claim has been backed up and is now proven.When I say a claim has been backed up I mean that the claim has gained some strength and a higher chance of gaining credibility if I have been given a sourced wiki, but by no means has the claim been proven.

Let me get this straight...by no means can a wiki alone actully prove a claim.It can only push a claim in the right direction or make the claim stronger if we have a good sourced wiki.It is also always a nice list of sources too start researching yourself too see if the claims are true using a ancient magical device called "google".

Basicly how Jwlynas explains how too use a sourced wiki is in my opinion the most correct way.Its just a damn shame that not everybody realizes that.Which brings me too the main point of my thread.

At this moment, the use of wiki's on FP is a gangbang of opinions.There are people who do not even click a link if it contains the word wiki and there are people who bow down and worship their wiki overlords just because it is sourced.Though I admit that in general, the FP community has mostly used and threated wiki's in the correct way it is also a fact that FP is a growing community and some incidents regarding wiki use pop up here and then already.

I used too be part of a small debating site that has died because they had no guidelines regarding wiki's.Debates went from a actual debate too a debate on how valid wiki's are and how they are supposed too be used.Sadly these debates ended nowhere because it had no rules, people where free too do with wiki's whatever they wanted.So on 1 side you had people who where of opinion that there sourced wiki's where god because they showed a source and on the other hand people who did not even open a wikilink.The site ofcourse proceeded too die under the piles of shittalk insults and fights that followed.

What I am asking is a small guide (rules if you will) on how too use wiki's and it would contain the following info:
1)How a proper wiki looks
This will contain information on the standards a wiki must have too be even considered too back up a claim with.In this case that is a list of sources so we can start researching and a as untoched as possible canon description of the subject you are discussing.
2)How a wiki is used
This is basicly what Jwlynas and Mata said.A wiki is best used as too further research a subject and too look and research canon sources yourself.This automaticly leads too point 3.
3)The value of a wiki in a FP debate.
This explains the strength of a wiki in a debate.It will basicly say that a wiki on its own is never enough to prove a claim, but that it is a usefull tool too further explain the subject at hand and provide a list of sources.

The 3 points above are actully pretty much common sence.However as their are pretty much billions of people on the internet it is a simple fact that not everybody we meet will have common sence as we have aready seen a couple of times.

What I am saying is that right now FP is vulnerble for ignorant people and trolls who think their wiki's are enough too win a debate.The worst part is that despite how well we can expose and counter them with common sence, if they choose too stand their ground with their "wiki=god" stance there is nothing we can do about it as their are noo rules at all we can point out towards this person regarding the value and use of wiki's.Which in turn will result in a derailling of a debate a loss of time for the debaters and alot of frustration.And FP as a growing community might encounter such a person sooner or later or it might also be a nice thing too have for when that new person accidently puts too much value in his wiki and instead of writing a 5 minute story regarding wiki's, we can just link him too the official rules.

Just my 2cents for now.
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Re: use of wiki's in debates.

Postby Matapiojo » Tue Apr 19, 2011 7:02 am

I don't know that such a thing should ever be made "official" as it will discourage a larger group of debaters across the webs, and that's something Paul generally goes against.

That said, the "FP Police" (meaning us with actual common sense) already enforce said views on stuff like wikis. I doubt the presense of wikinatics would ever really make FP go the way of your past debate site. As long as we continue to police such debating elements withing pilerverse, we should be golden.
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Re: use of wiki's in debates.

Postby orber » Tue Apr 19, 2011 3:03 pm

Ah I see.I was unaware of this FP police or better said I thought that the FP police was purely counter troll and did not pay too much attention too such issues.Would hate too see FP die as it easily has reached in my top 5 of favo sites but now that you cleared it up on how you deal with it I am once again reassured.

Thanks for your time.
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Re: use of wiki's in debates.

Postby Fisherking » Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:09 pm

orber wrote:Ah I see.I was unaware of this FP police or better said I thought that the FP police was purely counter troll and did not pay too much attention too such issues.Would hate too see FP die as it easily has reached in my top 5 of favo sites but now that you cleared it up on how you deal with it I am once again reassured.

Thanks for your time.



I see where you're coming from about wiki's, but most people who cite wiki's as their sources don't think it's just a base to strengthen the verifiability of their claim. They assume that by sourcing a wiki it means there claim has been proven and there point is correct. Thus when debating against someone, no matter who it is, I need a primary source that verifies a claim to be posted, or directly linked to(i.e. a place such as the respect threads here at FTP) before I consider the point proven. Not only that but when you're actually debating a topic and you require sources for whatever points you're making saying you got your information from wikipedia(or any other wiki) will get you laughed off the stage, which is another reason why I don't accept wiki's as viable sources with the people I debate with.
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Re: use of wiki's in debates.

Postby Matapiojo » Wed Apr 20, 2011 6:55 am

While there is no "official" police for these matters, one simple solution is to announce here in the topia that a debater is sourcing a wiki that way, and I can garantee you that at least ONE veteran piler will jump in to correct the matter.

Hell, people like Kenny, Alpha, Sorrow, Ollie, and myself do this on a weekly basis (if not daily) on topics we are interested in. All it takes is for real interest in such an initiative as this, and I will make a separate section here for FP Debate Aid to be requested on a particular exchange taking place on the mainland.

That said - and I know I've been called out as a soap-boxer for it already - but I hold to the utmost belief that the solution lies in us having a well documented and diverse Respect Section. Since these are meant to be a list of actual sources rather than inflated interpretations of them, debaters (or at least the ones worth debating anything against) would source Respect Threads over wikis more often than not.
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